Your sustainability strategy: 5 layers from vision to action

 

What makes a good sustainability strategy?

 

Our last two posts: The first step in developing a sustainability strategy that means something and What is impact measurement? will help you understand the importance of developing your business’ sustainability vision from the get-go. Having clear goals will help you to plan your strategy efficiently and determine what to measure, which will result in a better understanding and ability to communicate social, economic and environmental impacts. It’s these impacts that really mean something to your stakeholders.

 

A question we hear come up all the time is ‘how do I get started?’

 

If you are just starting out, it’s important to get the steps right in developing your strategy, as each step is nothing without the others.

 

 

Vision

 

Start with your sustainability vision. Look into your crystal ball and imagine the ideal scenario for your company in the future. Better yet, look into some other people’s crystal balls. Talking to your investors, suppliers, local government, employees and other stakeholders will shine a light on your company from the outside in and help you to consider your activities with fresh eyes and an open mind.

 

This one is important to get right, and should be in line with your wider business strategy.

 

 

Goals

 

These address your material issues. Your material issues are the things that are most important to your stakeholders. It’s very difficult to set goals without a vision!

 

 

Objectives

 

Objectives are what you actually want to achieve to reach your goals – these need to be specific and measurable and they will lack focus without goals in place.

 

 

Targets

 

These are the numbers representing how you will measure your performance, which is essentially measuring your objectives. You can’t set targets without objectives to measure.

 

 

Actions

 

These are the actual tasks that you will need to undertake to meet your targets. The impacts of your actions will be unknown unless you measure your performance against your targets.

 

 

To help you through the process of developing your vision, goals and objectives check out our free to download Groundwork Guidebook. The book will help you set your sustainability strategy in just one day.